What Is the Most Common Way That People Are Injured by Lightning in the Home?

Although being injured by lightning while indoors is considered rare, it can occur, most often the result of talking on the phone during a storm. Indoor lightning strikes typically happen when a person is close to a conductor of electricity, such as a telephone landline, which lightning can travel through. Other potential causes of being struck by lightning indoors include being close to or contact with electrical outlets, plumbing or radios or televisions with antennae. To avoid lightning risk while indoors, experts recommend unplugging all electric appliances before a storm hits, staying away from sinks or other plumbing and avoiding areas that have concrete walls or flooring that might contain metal wires or support bars. It is estimated that 80% of lightning strike victims survive, but they might suffer from problems such as burns, heart attack or brain damage.

More about lightning:

  • Lightning can increase air temperature by as much as 50,000° Fahrenheit (27,700° Celsius).

  • Thunderstorms are not the only events in which lightning can occur. Others include forest fires, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and snowstorms.

  • It is a myth that lightning never strikes the same place twice. Tall structures are at the highest risk of being struck multiple times by lightning, because of their height.

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